A new chief took charge of the San Diego Harbor Police Thursday, the first Latina to serve in the position.
Port of San Diego officials swore in Magda Fernandez, a 21-year veteran of the bay-area law enforcement agency, to its top post during a ceremony at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.
Also promoted during the event was 20-year department member Jeffrey Geary, whom Fernandez had tapped to serve as her assistant chief.
"Chief Fernandez and Assistant Chief Geary are committed to community policing and public safety on our bayfront and throughout the region," San Diego Port President and CEO Joe Stuyvesant said.
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"Their diverse and broad experience, training and skill sets will serve them well in their new roles, and we look forward to the continued excellence and evolution of the Harbor Police Department with them at the helm."
Fernandez had served as acting chief of the agency for the last three months and was acting assistant chief from November 2021 to February 2022.
Fernandez has led various units in the department, including investigations and intelligence, and professional standards and training, as well as its patrol and administrative sections, according to a biography supplied by the department.
Fernandez served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1994 to 2018, including as a criminal investigator and an environmental and marine casualty investigator. Earlier, she was an emergency medical technician, and then a rescue diver with the Santa Cruz Search and Rescue Team.
Geary most recently has overseen the department's administrative operations, including criminal investigations, internal affairs, homeland security, training, communications, special events and special teams. His career with the agency also has included stints commanding its patrol operations and serving as a police field supervisor, watch commander, dive team supervisor and field training officer.